Superstar stage and screen diva Idina Menzel returns to Red Bank Thursday with no less than Marvin Hamlisch at the podium as guest conductor of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra.
By TOM CHESEK
Most actors, singers or combinations thereof would be very thankful to have latched on to even one genuinely fan-supercharged, multi-generational, cross-cultural pop phenomenon in their professional lifetimes. Idina Menzel has been a big part of three such phenoms and the general consensus is that she’s only just begun.
When the recently minted stage superstar, who painted herself a minty green for her Tony-winning turn as Elphaba in Wicked, returns to the boards of the Count Basie Theatre Thursday night, she’ll be bringing it big-time for local Rentheads (she originated the role of Maureen in the modern musical smash), Gleeks (she’s co-starred in the recurring role of Shelby Corcoran on the hitmaking Fox TV series), and whatever it is that fans of Wicked call themselves these days (Elphicionados?).
The native Long Islander and hardworking mom (she and co-RENTer husband Taye Diggs have an infant son) will also be bringing along an extra special treat Marvin Hamlisch, the EGOT winner (Emmy-Grammy-Oscar-Tony, that is; not to mention two Golden Globes and one Pulitzer Prize) who’s scored about as many golden trophies as he has movies, TV specials and Broadway musicals. The maestro will be wielding the baton as guest conductor of the mighty New Jersey Symphony Orchestra for an 8p set of songs written or otherwise owned by the star singer, from stage/screen signatures to material from her 2008 CD I Stand.
The celebs desk at redbankgreen talked to Menzel on the eve of her east coast jaunt. A half-dozen or so Q’s and A’s follow.